Retro Re-release Roundup, week of July 23, 2020

Can the Switch run Crysis?

"Can the Switch run Crysis?" Short answer: yes! Much longer answer: Digital Foundry's technical analysis. Shorter-but-not-as-short-as-the-initial-answer answer: sure, but it can also run Karnov's Revenge, so think long and hard about how you elect to spend your time.


Koutetsu Yousai Strahl

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 (worldwide)
  • Price: $7.99 / €6.99 / £6.29
  • Publisher: Hamster / UPL

What's this? A horizontally-scrolling shooter developed and distributed in Japanese arcades in early 1992, with no home versions released until now; Strahl's most distinguishing features are its aimable rotating missile weapon and its unique loadout system which lets you 

Why should I care? UPL had a reputation for making games that were idiosyncratic to the point of unplayability, but Strahl's fairly approachable without coming off as cookie-cutter. (It's also cursed with a fairly straightforward counterstop, so don't bother attempting to play for score.

Useless fact: UPL declared bankruptcy just a few months after the release of Strahland a significant chunk of former UPL personnel migrated directly to the studio Athena where they worked on several other shooting games, among them the SNES game Biometal.


Crysis Remastered (Nintendo Switch)

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch (worldwide)
  • Price:$29.99 / €29.99 / £26.99
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts

What's this? An open-ended sci-fi FPS, created by original Far Cry devs Crytek in tandem with the newest version of their proprietary CryEngine tech; originally released for PCs in 2007 and laboriously ported to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2011, this remaster crunches aspects of those console ports together with the original PC build and a ton of technical overhauls to get the game looking and running as impressively as possible on current-gen console hardware... but only the base game content, not the expansion nor the multiplayer. (The remaster received a last-minute delay on other platforms, but it is coming.0

Why should I care? Putting aside the small miracle Saber Interactive performed to get this game looking and perforing the way it does on Switch, the game itself still offers a fairly enjoyable faux-Predator experience for most of its runtime, with a degree of openness and tactical versatily not seen in either of the numbered sequels.

Useless fact: During the process of remastering this game, it was discovered that one of the common causes of hitching endemic to the console ports is a result of the game rendering, for whatever reason, at a target resolution of 31FPS.


Dr. Mario (Game Boy) "DX" color hack by marc_max

The Game Boy version of Nintendo's classic falling-block puzzle game has now been blessed with color, a feature that was heretofore exclusive to... every other version of Dr. Mario, but I ain't hatin'.

Street Fighter II Remastered Edition (Sega Mega Drive) enhancement patch by Pyron

Four years in the making, this Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition hack was originally conceived as a simple color edit that would bring the game's graphics closer to those of the original arcade game but quickly ballooned into an attempt to restore, replace or edit all aspects of the game in the hopes of realizing a more authentic conversion, with a few self-indulgent extras on the part of the author. How'd he do?


Borderlands deluxe double vinyl from Laced Records

  • Format: vinyl (2LP, black or pink)
  • Price: £33.00 
  • Availability: shipping from late September

Wait, Borderlands has music?